Blackberry and Pear Torte
Although late summer heralds shorter days and a return to school and work, there is still some time to enjoy some summer treats and blackberries are one of them!
They are one of the few fruits that are still not mass produced and available all year – so it is good to enjoy them in their short season.
Its even better if you have foraged for them yourself, but when they are wild picked, they quite often need a lot of cleaning. I have married them with pears for this cake but you could use apples just as well.
- 125g self raising flour
- 200g castor sugar
- 115g butter
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 200g pears (Prepared weight)
- 250g blackberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 175ºC.
First, prepare the fruit. Wash the blackberries well – I like to immerse them in a bowl of water and pour off any foreign bodies that rise to the surface, keeping the blackberries in the bowl with your hand. Once cleaned, they must be throughly drained in a sieve to remove the water (you may have to spread them on kitchen paper for a few seconds as well).
Whilst they are draining, cut the pears in quarters, remove the stalks and cores and then cut each quarter in half. Place on a shallow plate and dribble the lemon juice over all of them. When the blackberries are drained, stir them in a bowl with the 2 Tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon until well mixed. It doesn’t matter if some of the fruit starts to break upSet the fruit aside whilst making the cake batter. Cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the egg a little at a time whisking after each addition. Sift the flour into the mixture and stir to just incorporate. Tip the mixture into a greased 20cm springform pan and smooth the top. So far so good! By now the sugar will have started to draw the juice out of the blackberries, no matter, just spoon the blackberries and the juice onto the batter. Then take the pears and push them into the blackberries, skin side up. They will probably cover the whole cake and it will be looking quite wobbly at this point.
Pour any remaining lemon juice over the cake and bake in the oven for 40 – 50 minutes, depending on your oven. Test after 40 minutes, if a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, it is ready. If the top is getting too brown, cover with greaseproof paper. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes and then invert onto greaseproof paper. You can eat this warm as a pudding if you like but it will be delicious the next day when the flavours have had time to meld.
Vanessa Ebdon Aug 2015 ®